Plenty of financial traders talk about buying low and selling high. But how many actually hit the "buy" button when the going gets tough? It's certainly easy to say you're applying Warren Buffett-style principles, but it's much harder to actually do it.

With earnings season underway, there are "blood in the streets" opportunities for bona fide contrarians, and you don't need a Buffett-sized account to get involved. If you know where to look, you can actually find basement bargains representing solid companies for $20 or less among the wreckage of October's earnings releases.

Just don't expect to have the support of Wall Street analysts or self-proclaimed social media gurus, as zigging when others zag can be a lonely journey, albeit eventually a profitable one.

Snap was brutally punished for slowing sales growth

As Snap (SNAP 2.09%) stock plunged 27% in after-hours trading on Oct. 20, casual onlookers undoubtedly wondered what happened to this popular social media platform. Surely, Snap's revenue must have fallen through the floorboards in 2022's third quarter -- right?

Actually, that wasn't the case at all. As it turns out, Snap's revenue grew 6% year over year. However, this is apparently the company's slowest year-over-year rate of sales growth ever. Is it possible that traders are so spoiled by Snap's top-line expansion that anything under double-digits just isn't good enough anymore?

Besides, Snap fared well in terms of user growth with a perfectly respectable 19% daily active user increase in Q3. Plus, Snap's board recently approved a massive share buyback program of up to $500 million. Perhaps this will serve as a backstop to the slide in Snap stock, as soon as the short-term traders get over their disappointment in the company's revenue acceleration.

Ericsson's cost-cutting efforts should help in the long term

After getting a 15% haircut on Oct. 20, Ericsson (ERIC 0.73%) shares are dirt cheap. This happened even as the Swedish telecom equipment maker posted a 3% year-over-year increase in third-quarter 2022 organic sales.

Not only that, but Ericsson's net sales jumped 21% year over year to to 6.8 billion Swedish crowns, exceeding Wall Street's forecast of 6.6 billion Swedish crowns. Mostly likely, traders objected to Ericsson's 10% earnings decrease to 1.56 Swedish crowns (or roughly $0.14) per share. 

It's not as if the company's sitting pat, though. Indeed, CEO Börje Ekholm said that Ericsson is "simplifying operations across the company to be proactive in reviewing options to reduce costs." And, if the company has to "take out costs" to reach Ericsson's ambitious "long-term target of EBITA margin of 15%-18% no later than 2024," so be it.

Traders should be kinder to Kinder Morgan amid revenue and income growth

Another under-$20 pick is Kinder Morgan (KMI 0.40%) stock, which shed 5% of its value after the energy pipeline giant reported its third-quarter 2020 results on Oct. 19. Again, we're seeing a motif here: results that were good, but not good enough for immediate-term traders.

Kinder Morgan's revenue rose 35% year over year to $5.18 billion while also beating the analyst consensus estimate of $4.52 billion. Meanwhile, the company's adjusted earnings per share of $0.25 demonstrated improvement over the year-earlier result of $0.22.

Wall Street was looking for $0.29 per share, however, so anyone who needed an excuse to divest their Kinder Morgan stake now had one. If this is disappointing to some traders, be advised that Kinder Morgan faced headwinds that may be temporary in nature, such as reduced natural gas transport volumes due to the Freeport LNG terminal outage, as well as a "decline in commodity prices that impacted inventory values on our transmix and crude and condensate assets."

While investors are waiting for these conditions to possibly improve, they can collect Kinder Morgan's generous dividend distributions -- the most recent of which, by the way, increased 3% year over year.